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My Voting Strategy: A Long and Winding Road

The only real valuable thing is intuition.
— Albert Einstein

I feel there are two people inside me–me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get a long quite nicely.

— Kim Basinger

If I had to summarize my voting strategy for Tuesday in one word, it would be “Intuition.” I’m going with my gut. And my gut tells me to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I can hardly believe that I wrote that! For months, I’ve said that I would decide whom to vote for when I got into the voting booth. I could leave the top of the ticket blank or vote for Nader or McKinney. It has truly been a long and winding road that has led me to this decision.

I began to think of myself as a Democrat in 1960 when I was 12 years old. That year, I fell in love with politics while following the campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Everyone I knew at school and most of my relatives were supporting Nixon. I felt strongly attracted to Kennedy–his youth and vitality, his eloquent speeches, and the fact that, if elected, he would be the first Catholic President. I’ve always been a bit of an nonconformist, and this time I followed my intuition. Finally, I “came out” as a Kennedy supporter. There were only two of us in my entire junior high school! On election night, I stayed up with my parents to watch the returns. We didn’t know until very very late that Kennedy had won–probably with a little help from his friends in Chicago. Continue reading

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Sunday: Live from Scranton

In the Democrats for McCain Office in Scranton

In the Democrats for McCain Office in Scranton

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, let me just say that my navigator has 2 different addresses for N.Main Ave. in Scranton and neither one was the one I needed.

I am at Democrats for McCain Headquarters in downtown Scranton and this place is buzzing. There are a LOT of people in this little office. We are waiting for the canvassers to return. Harriet Christian is trying to catch McCain at the airport. She and her bus posse tried to get into his rally here in Scranton earlier this afternoon but were turned away by the fire marshall. The place was overflowing.

The canvassers tell me that direct contacts are going very well but that phone banking is more difficult. Well, phone banking always sucks. It’s hard to know what to say and it’s even harder to not take it personally when someone hangs up on you.

Harriet Christian takes a break

Harriet Christian takes a break

I recognize a lot of the volunteers here from Denver. They are the die hard PUMAs who were determined that the DNC were not going to get the best of them. But the manager of this office, Carol, made her decision when Hillary suspended her campaign. Carol realized that she had to make a decision between Obama and McCain so she took a good look at the resumes of both candidates and found Obama’s lacking. She was concerned that Obama had only 142 days on the job before he decided to run for president. Carol knows that country is going to go through a very rocky period of time in the next four years and she was very concerned that Obama’s lack of experience and thin knowledge base would make it difficult for him to know how to mobilize the mechanisms of government for the benefit of the country. As a Pennsylvanian from the Scranton area, she was offended by Obama’s remarks regarding bitter small towners who cling to God and guns. Obama hasn’t reached out to the working class and the sexism really got under Carol’s skin. She decided in McCain’s favor. Then, this former Hillary supporter approached the McCain campaign and convinced them to open an office for Democrats for McCain because she felt this area of Pennsylvania would be receptive to McCain’s message.

Carol, Hillary campaigner, feminist, McCain Supporter

Carol, Hillary campaigner, feminist, McCain Supporter

The message that appeals to Carol has a lot to do with the local economy. This is coal country and the past decade of outsourcing has devastated local industry. She likes McCain’s message on clean coal and believes that McCain will work across the aisle to help opportunity come back to the Scranton area. She’s also concerned that Obama is making promises regarding healthcare that he can not fulfill. She doesn’t know what Obama believes. She can’t pin him down and this worries her. Carol feels she knows McCain, his character and she has confidence and trust in his ability to lead. So, Carol is a believer. She’s probably a little more conservative than the typical PUMA but she believes that the loss of Hillary in this race is a tragic loss for the country.

Harriet and Betty Jean are back from the airport. They were turned down at the rally for McCain because there wasn’t room. So they high tailed it to the airport with their signs in the hope they could see him. They saw McCain’s car drive onto the tarmac and were despondent when the car headed away from them. Then, the car abruptly turned around and John McCain leapt out of the car and he ran over to the group with a huge smile on his face. Cindy and Joe Lieberman quickly followed. Betty Jean said McCain was quicker than the Secret Service who had to run to keep up with him. McCain thanked them enthusiastically and hugged Betty Jean. It made her day.

[UPDATE by Katiebird]

Riverdaughter sent me this link to an Australian publication that’s covering the election.  The 6th photo is from the Democrats for McCain office.

My Voting Strategy – Democracy

Following the My Voting Strategy Series, here is my own:

E. B. White: Democracy is itself, a religious faith. For some it comes close to being the only formal religion they have.

George Orwell: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

George Washington: As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.

Jesse Jackson: In politics, an organized minority is a political majority.

John Bright: Demand the ballot as the undeniable right of every man who is called to the poll, and take special care that the old constitutional rule and principle, by which majorities alone shall decide in Parliamentary elections, shall not be violated. Continue reading

My Voting Strategy

Hear Us Roar!

Hear Us Roar!

Our beloved blogmother has asked all of us Conflucians to “come out” and explain what we are doing on November 4th, and to choose a word that would summarize our NOBAMA position.

My word is “misogyny,” and I’m voting for the 30% Solution in order to begin improving the lives of women throughout this great country.

I wrote this post a couple of days ago about how John McCain is passing out Hillary-oriented flyers in Pennsylvania. Although many PUMA blogs have been focusing on the flyers’ explicit panders to PUMAcrats, very few people seem to have noticed this language from Senator McCain:

I share Senator Clinton’s goal of promoting women to more important roles in government. By the end of my first term, I promise you will see a dramatic increase in the presence of women in every part of the government. You have my word on it.

Just get your PUMA jaws around that and chew on it for a while.

Mmmmmmm. Tastes like feminism to me.

To further quote from the post:

When Barack Obama was asked by Hillary Clinton’s supporters if he would make a similar promise, he said no.

Senator Obama has shown nothing but contempt and scorn for Hillary Clinton and her voters. He thinks he can win without us, and to prove his obstinacy and lack of respect for her and what she represented, he refused to even vet her for the Vice Presidency and took every opportunity to spread the most disgusting lies about her and her husband.

John McCain, however, is committed to to advancing the 30% Solution, whether he calls it that or not. He had the courage to pick a female Vice President whom he knew would be subject to the same virulent misogyny that Hillary endured. He pays his female staff more than his male staff.

Between these two candidates, who has exemplified a more feminist attitude?

Continue reading

This Too Shall Pass

The phrase “This too shall pass” is attributed to a story involving King Solomon:

King Solomon once searched for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together. They meditated for a long time and gave him the following advice: Make yourself a ring and have thereon engraved the words “This too shall pass”. The King carried out the advice. He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad and depressed, he looked at the ring, whereon his mood would change and he would feel cheerful

Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias was another name of Ramses II (aka Ramses the Great.)  I was first introduced to old Ozzy back in the 6th grade, but I really didn’t get what that poem meant until many years later.

Why, you may ask, is the Petulant Clown getting all philosophical and poetic instead of giving you his usual lame snarkiness?  Well, you can blame (or thank) the person who wrote this:

Squeezing the Republican Party into a marginalized position will, inevitably, mean that some “moderate” Conservative idiots will realign with the Democrats. The presence of those Conservatives creates both a challenge and an opportunity, where no opportunity previously existed. It is an emergent moment, a rebirth of the Political dialogue, and this is why people describe it in messianic terms – the secular world does not have the vocabulary to express what is being felt.

Marginalizing the Right will inevitably – inevitably – shift the center of the public policy discussion to the Left. The argument about what to do and when will no longer be centered between Conservatives and Reactionaries, as it has been for 40 years. The center will shift to a discussion between Conservatives and Progressives, the Overton Window will move leftward, and that is entirely a good thing.

That’s a combination of counting chickens before they are hatched and two fleas arguing over who owns the dog.  If history teaches us anything it is that nothing made by humans lasts forever.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of our greatest Presidents, and was certainly the most influential President of the 20th Century.  His election in 1932 ended over a decade of GOP dominance.  He enacted the New Deal, which was the most sweeping change in our theory of government since the founding fathers set it up, and he saw our nation through the Great Depression and most of World War II. 

In 1952, a mere twenty years after FDR defeated Herbert Hoover, the voters put a Republican in the White House.  Ronald Reagan and movement conservatives have been trying to repeal the New Deal ever since it was first enacted.  Eight years ago G-Dub and Turdblossom thought they were going to create a permanent Republican majority, and two years ago the voters gave the legislative branch back to the Democrats.  So we must never forget that there is no finish line in politics.  At most, one side gets to lead for a while, but eventually the lead changes hands again.

No matter who wins on Tuesday, we will have a lot of work to do.  Oh, we can take a break to celebrate or drown our sorrows, but the work will be waiting for us when we return.  Even if the Electoral College fairy magically made Hillary our next President we would still have to work as hard or harder.  We fight and struggle to make gains, and then we fight and struggle to hold on to those gains.  Molly Ivins* said it best:

Those who think of freedom in this country as one long, broad path leading ever onward and upward are dead damned wrong. Many a time freedom has been rolled back–and always for the same sorry reason: fear.

 So one thing I have learned from Johnny Faulk, Texas, and life, is that since you don’t always win, you got to learn to enjoy just fightin’ the good fight.

[…]

So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.

Molly said it, I believe it, that settles it.

R.I.P. Molly

Mary Tyler "Molly" Ivins 1944-2007

*R.I.P. Molly

Saturday Night Open Thread

Barry has wanted to be President since he was five years old. 

Don’t forget to set your clocks back!